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April 30, 2012

Macro Photography

I have been busy getting the paperwork all filled out for my pattern business, and in doing that, I've been working on getting my photography better.

So, I found a blog that covered macro photography and let me tell you, it's done wonders for my pictures. I had to demolish a cardboard box (but luckily, we have cardboard boxes everywhere), and tape some tissue paper to it, and here's the result:

The only thing is that, after looking at these on the computer vs. the camera,  I need to get a brighter light to shine through the paper.  But this is SO much better than any photos that I have taken before.  I thought I'd pass the link along to anyone else out there who was going to open an online shop.

April 27, 2012

Designing a Pattern-Parts 5 & 6

So, after blocking the scarf to my little Journey guy, I come to part 5--finishing touches.  In this pattern, this means, embroidery.  He needed eyeballs, and some detail on the cape, hood, and scarf, so after some stitches, I added the details.

So then the last part of designing a pattern is, make it again!  This is my least favorite part of pattern design, and some people don't do this, but I like to do itwas a proof checking process.  So, the white part of the picture is version two of the little guy in process.

April 23, 2012

All you need is Love, in a pattern

Last week was a roller coaster of emotions for me--ups, downs, tears, and cheers.  So I thought of the Beatles song, "All You Need is Love", so when I was in the middle of the tears part of the week, I designed a heart motif.

"the scars remind me that the past is real" - Papa Roach
The lines on the left heart are supposed to be scars
Here's the pattern:
Gauge: doesn't really matter
Hook: H (5.00 mm)
Yarn: worsted weight, red

Row 1) ch 2, 1 sc in second ch from hook, turn

Row 2) ch 1, 2 sc in the st, turn

Row 3) ch 1, 1 sc in first st, 2 sc in second st, turn

Row 4) ch 1, 1 sc in first st, 2 sc in second st, 1 sc in last st, turn

Rows 5-13) ch 1, 1 sc in first st, 2 sc in second st, 1 sc in each st until the end of the row, turn

Row 14) ch 1, 1 sc in each st of the row, turn

Row 15) ch 1, * 1 sc in first st, sk two, 5 tr in next st, sk two, repeat from *, 1 sc in last st, turn

Row 16) * sl st in sc, sk two, 7 tr in next st, sk two, rep from *, sl st in last st.  Fasten off, weave in ends.

Note: tr = treble crochet

April 18, 2012

Designing a Pattern-Part 4

Back to my Journey Amigurumi Design we delve into Part 4.  Going from Part 3 the little guy looks pretty much done, but he has no face!  And his little cape, hood, and scarf don't have the gold embroidery on it.  But, what's this?

his scarf is curling!
That is just unacceptable!  Thus, before we can get into the final touches, we have to block!

Straighten that scarf out!

April 17, 2012

Worsted Weight Yarn Comparison: A Link

You know, I'm going to delay my post, to bring to you something that I feel is worth discussing.  PlanetJune's most recent blog post discusses how not all worsted weight yarns are alike.  You could go from one brand to another that both say they're worsted weight yarns, and yet when you follow the same pattern exactly, you have two different sized items.

This has bit me in the butt in my early designs by using scrap yarn for the prototype, and a different yarn for the finished product.

You should check the post out, here.

April 13, 2012

The Mother Bear Project

Every year the University I went to (Western Oregon University) displays an exhibit in the library of hand knitted and crocheted bears to donate to the Mother Bear Project.  So for the 5 years I went to WOU, I'd see these bears every spring in the library, though it wasn't until the year after I graduated that I finally got my butt in gear to actually make some bears myself and donate too.

The Mother Bear Project is an organization that provides these homemade bears for kids who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  The bears don't take long to make, and they're for a good cause.

So, why not make one yourself?

April 11, 2012

Finished: Fur Monster

Remember my Tribble Post from March?  Well, the little guy is now a finished fur monster!  And he is ferocious!

Concept Art
El Fin

I think he turned out adorable!

April 9, 2012

Crochet for Child's Play

No, the title doesn't refer to the thriller/horror movie, but the charity called Child's Play.  It's a charity where gamers can donate games, consoles, entertainment, and/or money that helps improve the lives of children who are hospital bound for any number of reasons.  It was founded by the Penny Arcade guys, and to show that I support it and want more people to be aware of it, I crocheted a hat with the logo.

April 6, 2012

Designing a Pattern-Part 3

After creating the body, I measured how long I wanted the cape, and how wide.  Knowing that my gauge was 20 sts/4" and 26 rows/4", I can find out how many sts to cast on for how many rows (same process as my "Make It to Fit" post.

So, I needed to cast on 50 stitches, and evenly decrease to 37 stitches over 48 rows.  This ended up being 80% of the rows had a 1 stitch decrease.  Knowing this, the cape was easy, just knitted away (though it took all day).

It was the hood that was the tough part.  I needed to create a large hole for the face.  I went through idea, after idea, after idea...and nothing was successful that didn't look sloppy.  Finally, I realized I could knit an open block, then crochet inside it to shape it.  I made a test swatch, and it looked good, so I just did that.

Here's what my guy looks like so far:

April 4, 2012

Designing a Pattern-Part 2

So now we delve into part 2 of designing my Journey amigurumi.  Previously, in part 1, I talked about the importance of drawing a picture/sketch of your idea.

Now, we get to the actual creating.  But first, lets take a look at the picture one more time:

In part two, I'll be talking about the body: the legs, torso, and head.  So, we know that the legs are small at the feet, then increase in size.  The problem of this is that it's hard to keep this shape and be able to support the weight of the body at the same time.  My first attempt at creating the legs, they looked exactly like they did in the picture, but even though I used weighted stuffing beads, the body could not be supported.

So then I thought about what needed to be done in order to keep the shape, but make the legs more stable.  I knew two things: 1) the bottom needed to be flat, and 2) the legs had to be rigid.  The solution I came up with was to use two wooden dowels in the legs, but don't close the bottom, so the body would be standing on the dowels, not the yarn (which could make the base unstable).

Once the dilemma of the legs was solved, I had to get the torso crocheted.  I knew the front of the torso had to be a rectangle, but I didn't want the base to be one too, so I made the base an oblong then didn't increase or decrease any stitches for the body.  At the head I switched to the black yarn, decreased for the neck and increased again for the actual head.  The only problem now was how to get the points for the ears.  I decided, for the last row, to shape them (double crochets for the ears, and single crochets for the rest of the head), then sew the top of the head closed.

The end result looks like this:

April 2, 2012

Designing a Pattern-Part 1

So, when I was trying to fall asleep, I had an epiphany for a new pattern, inspired by the PS3 game Journey.  I decided to do what I always do when I'm designing a pattern, draw a picture.  I got out my handy dandy sketchbook and drew away till midnight.

Thus, part one of creating my Journey pattern (drawing a sketch) was complete:

Now, you might be asking, "Why do I need to draw a picture?"  Well, here's why:

1) from my picture I discover the basic shapes I need to create in order to make my little guy
  • I know that the legs need to be cones, the body is a rectangle, and head is another rectangle, decreasing/increasing for the neck with points, or "ears" at the top (to keep the shape of the hood)
2) I know the basic proportions in order to create my little guy
  • the 3" on the left side of the picture means that my guy from feet to shoulders was three inches tall, and the 1"to the right of the head means that the head is one inch tall.  So, I know that the ratio of body to head is 3:1 (so I want the head to be a third of the body)
3) crocheted fabric doesn't "flow" very well and doesn't have a lot of movement, so I decided to knit the robe, hood, and scarf.
  • from the picture I discover that the robe needs to be a cone, with an even amount of decreases.
  • the scarf needs to be flat, so a stockinette stich
  • and the hood comes in at the neck, and has an open hole for his little face.  So, then I think of how I can make that hole.
And that's it for part one.  Next step, creating the body.